Comelec warns non-compliant candidates

Candidates who would still not file their SOCEs on May 12 will face administrative cases and election offenses related to campaign finance

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set a final deadline for winning and losing candidates to complete deficiencies in their statement of election contributions and expenses (SOCE) for the 2013 midterm polls.

In Comelec Resolution No. 9849 promulgated on February 13, non-compliant candidates – winning or losing – have until May 12 to submit or correct their SOCE requirements. The deadline is final and non-extendible.

Candidates who would still not comply will face administrative cases and election offenses related to campaign finance.

As of December 2013, there are still around 300 winning candidates who have either failed to submit on time or improperly filed their SOCEs for the 2013 midterm polls. (READ: Comelec errs in SOCE deficiency of 29 politicians)

Non-compliant candidates are those who:

  • Did not submit their SOCEs
  • Did not personally sign their SOCEs
  • Did not use the prescribed SOCE form
  • Did not submit or completely fill up relevant annexes
  • Did not attach a photocopy of receipts for contributions and expenses

The erring candidates should submit in person or through mail their late or corrected SOCEs at the office of Comelec’s Campaign Finance Unit in Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila.

Resolution 9849 also imposed late penalties, with amounts depending on the elective position they sought in the 2013 polls:

Electoral Position Late Penalty
Senators P16,000
Governor and vice governor (including those in ARMM) P9,500
District representative P8,000
Provincial board member and ARMM regional assembly member P8,000
City mayor and vice mayor P8,000
City councilor P6,500
Municipal mayor, vice mayor, and councilor P5,000

 

Late submissions from political parties and party-list organizations woud also be slapped with the following penalties:

Party Late Penalty
National political parties P16,000
Party-list organizations P16,000
Regional and provincial political parties P9,500
Local political parties P8,000

 

The resolution clarified that these penalties do not constitute the administrative fine provided for in Republic Act 7166. Therefore, the payment of these penalties, together with the submission of complete SOCE requirements, does not make the erring candidates administratively liable for violation of the said law.

On Dec 12, 2013, Comelec asked 424 elected officials to vacate their posts for failing to submit on time or improperly filing their SOCEs for the 2013 midterm polls. Around 115 officials have complied since. – Rappler.com

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